Beliefnet
Movie Mom

In honor of my son’s birthday this week, my DVD pick is one of his childhood favorites: Rocketeer. Based on a comic book that recreated the deco feel of the pre-WWII era, this Disney movie has a 1940s feel — with 1990s special effects. Cliff Secord (Bill Campbell) is a stunt flyer who discovers a contraption designed by Howard Hughes that, when strapped to his back and combined with a helmet for steering, allows him to fly. The equipment is being sought by the U.S. government and by thugs in the employ of sleek Neville Sinclair (Timothy Dalton), a swashbuckling movie star and Nazi sympathizer. Not a box office success when it first opened (“Terminator 2” opened the same week), it has been more successful on DVD because of its exciting story, top-notch performances (with Bill Campbell, sometime James Bond Timothy Dalton and Oscar-winners Jennifer Connelly and Alan Arkin), and gorgeous visual design and effects. It’s is the kind of movie they say they don’t make anymore, an old-fashioned popcorn pleasure with action, adventure, romance, a zeppelin, a pretty girl, and a guy who straps a rocket on his back and soars into the sky. NOTE: The movie has some comic-book style violence and some tense and scary moments. One of the bad guys has a misshapen face that may be upsetting to younger kids.

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